Statsborgere uten medborgerskap? – om den politiske betydningen av stemmerettsbevegelsen ca. 1890–ca. 1970
- Side: 591-623
- Publisert på Idunn: 2013-12-16
Da norske kvinner endelig ble innrømmet formelt likestilt statsborgerskap i 1913, vant de en sentral demokratisk rettighet. På kort sikt fikk stemmeretten liten betydning for politisk representasjon av kvinners interesser. Valgdeltakelsen økte blant kvinner, men ikke før på 1970-tallet nådde kvinnerepresentasjonen i stortingsvalg over ti prosent. Stemmerettsbevegelsen, som hadde hatt sitt viktigste grunnlag i bygdefeminismen, representerte imidlertid en bred politisk kultur som siden slutten av 1800-tallet hadde tematisert kvinners manglende samfunnsmessige medborgerskap. Stemmerettsbevegelsen bidro til å befeste og utvikle kvinners politiske rolle i organisasjonssamfunnet fram mot 1970-tallet. De kvinnedominerte organisasjonene i det sivile samfunnet fremmet kvinners interesser, og de fikk en ledende rolle i utviklingen av velferdsstaten.
Suffrage and Citizenship – on the Political Role of the Suffrage Movement’s Political Culture in Norway, 1890s–1970s
Norwegian women gained equal citizenship in 1913. The unanimous vote of the national parliament was celebrated by women’s networks of organizations as a major step towards political empowerment and liberation of women. However, although universal suffrage led to growing participation by women in elections, it was not until the 1970s that women’s representation in parliament exceeded ten per cent. Representation of women’s political interests, therefore, depended on their powerful role in civil society. Since the 1890s, the claim for universal suffrage had met heavy resistance rooted in patriarchal structures, institutions and norms. However, suffrage unconditioned by income or social status was forcefully argued by a complex network of women and women-dominated organizations with a stronghold in the peripheral communities. This movement represented a broad feminist inspired political culture that not only articulated formal citizenship, the right to vote and represent, but indeed a wide range of aspects of social citizenship. While political representation of women’s interests through traditional political channels evolved slowly, even experiencing a set-back for women’s movements after 1913, this political culture materialized in large organizations exerting powerful pressure for the development of universal welfare services. In this process, universal suffrage legitimized extensive participation in society, and in the making of the Norwegian welfare state. From the 1970s on, the momentum again shifted towards political representation, as it proved harder for women to influence policy making through the voluntary organizations. While representation in parliament and political bodies increased, the number of female top leaders remained, and remains, low, however, and women are still overrepresented in low-wage jobs and underrepresented in politics. Thus, one could claim that women’s full citizenship is yet far from realized.